Let Your Fingers Do The Walking To Tone Utopia
By Mike Levine
One of the coolest things about your iOS device is its touch-sensitivity. You have a more direct connection to the software because you’re actually touching objects with your finger rather than the “one step removed” process of moving a mouse to move a cursor to touch an object on a computer screen. And when you’ve connected your BIAS MINI to the BIAS AMP 2 mobile app, you can use this tactile interaction to intuitively create or tweak amp tones.
The beauty of it is that you can make significant tonal changes without having any tech knowledge. Simply touch a power amp tube to swap in a different one. Do the same with the preamp tubes. Swipe a knob to adjust its value. Just touch and go.
Off the Menu
BIAS MINI and BIAS AMP 2 were designed with a “no-menus” philosophy, so you don’t have to dig into deeply nested menus to find adjustments for such vital amp components as power tubes, preamp tubes, and transformer types. Instead, you can simply start touching stuff, and see what happens—or should we say “hear” what happens.
You can adjust your amp sounds entirely by feel. There’s nothing to read, nothing to memorize, just let your ears tell you when it's right. After a while, you’ll probably start to know which component to touch to affect the sound in a particular way. But you really don’t have to learn anything to make significant changes and have a lot of fun doing it.
Learn from the Cloud
It’s great to be able to experiment and see where the tone leads you, but there may be times when you’re looking for a specific amp sound for your BIAS MINI. Perhaps you’re trying to match the tone of a particular song to better learn the part, or you just want to sound like your favorite guitarist.
Positive Grid’s ToneCloud® (which you can easily access through BIAS AMP 2) has thousands of amp sounds for your MINI, and these tones were created by other users as well as elite guitarists like Javier Reyes of Animals as Leaders, Tosin Abasi or Rob Caggiano of Volbeat.
But don’t worry, even though the collection of tone settings is vast, you can easily discover what you’re looking for with the handy search feature. Say you want to find a Stevie Ray Vaughn tone. Type “Stevie” into the search bar, and you’ll get plenty of results. Or “Jimi” or “Van Halen.” You get the idea. Or type in a genre, such as “blues,” to get a more extensive selection.
Once you’ve downloaded a tone, it’s probably going to be pretty close to what you’re looking for. At that point, you can use it as is, or tweak it to taste. What’s more, you can see how the tone was constructed by just looking at the settings of the various components (Preamp, EQ, Tone Stack, Power Amp, Transformer and Cab).
The more you observe these settings, the more you’ll put A and B together. “Oh, so that’s what makes it sound so bright.” Or, “That’s why it has all that sustain.” Before you know it, you will have significantly increased your tone-creation chops. Pretty soon you’ll be posting lots of cool settings to ToneCloud yourself. For more information, check out https://www.positivegrid.com/bias-head-mini-guitar/